Fabian Delph calls on Premier League clubs to blood English talent following World Cup progress
Fabian Delph has urged Premier League clubs to play more young English talent and ensure the nation can build on their fine World Cup campaign.
England take on Belgium in the third-place play-off tomorrow having exceeded expectations by reaching the semi-finals in Russia.
Only around 33 per cent of footballers who ply their trade in the top flight are from these shores. The academies have a lot of quality as the success of England’s junior teams have shown, but they are not developing their skills because of a lack of game time at the highest level.
Delph wants that to change and said: “It is Important young players play. From my experience, when I was coming through as a young lad, it was nice to get that manager who looked at young players.
“The only way you can develop is by playing men’s football. It is important to do that either on loan or in the first team.
“Pep (Guardiola) managed to push young lads forward (at Manchester City). They trained with us. Long may that continue. If all across the Premier League we start to push young lads forward, it has to be good for the future of the national team.”
One of the youngsters that has been tipped to make it to the senior set-up is Delph’s Manchester City team-mate Phil Foden.
The 18-year-old made four Premier League appearances last term and was handed a winner’s medal after they clinched the title. He also won the Golden Ball award for being the best player as England Under-17s won the World Cup.
Delph added: “Phil is a young player still learning his craft. He is at the right place to do that. He has a lot of ability and I can see him developing in the future into a top, talented player.
“In terms of the England set-up, it’s down to him. He has to keep progressing, if he breaks into the Manchester City team, shows what he can do, then I’m sure the manager (Gareth Southgate) will select him.”
Delph is already setting his sights on the World Cup in four years’ time and hoping the supporters can be given even more to celebrate.
No parade has been organised to welcome the squad home like in Italia ‘90, but the midfielder is looking forward to having one when it really matters.
“In terms of coming back to 300000 fans, it would be nice, but its not going to happen,” he said. “Hopefully in future tournaments we come back after going one step further and feel a lot better.
“I actually got to go home for a few days and experienced what it (the fans reaction) was like. When I came back I told the lads how amazing it was.
“To get in the World Cup squad is the highlight of my career. When I get home and sit down with my family, there are a lot of memories I will keep close to my heart. I want to keep getting in the Manchester City team and England squad.
“The feeling I have at Manchester City, the energy and trust that we’ve got is quite identical since I’ve been in this camp.
“Everyone is fearless and going in the same direction. It felt like leaving club football to then join up with club football again. I have thoroughly enjoyed it.
“It is always an honour to play for your country. To do it with such a great bunch of lads has been fantastic for me personally. It will stand us in good stead for the future.”